Article writing tips, techniques, strategies

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Will This Be Your First 'How-to' Report?

You've got to start somewhere, but once you've created your very first How-To report and learned to develop your own research tactics - life will never be the same again. You can write a report on almost any topic you like, providing you have knowledge of the subject through personal experience or research.

There are loads of subjects to choose from. How about; solving household problems, hobbies, leisure activities, social activities, science, psychology, computer problems, mon~ey-making/saving, gardening - the list is endless. Simple, basic, informative reports.

These reports are written guidelines that give the reader more information on a subject he/she wants to know more about. You'll find that the better selling reports are well researched, authoritative, factual and helpful to the reader in the achievement of his/her goals. Your report can be 2 or a 20 page document - it doesn't matter, so long as it contains the information they want. Writing your report can be very easy. However, it does take longer for some than it does for others, even if they are equally intelligent and knowledgeable.

Picking a subject to write about, one that has sales appeal, is not as hard as it sounds. Just go to any search engine and type-in your chosen subject and you'll soon see if it's popular or not. You will also find less popular niche subjects as well, to exploit. However, you will need to attract the right customers. Though, choosing the right keywords to attract your targeted prospects is for another report and not this one.


If you don't want to spend months researching your subject, pick something that has a particular interest to you, something you already know a great deal about. Your knowledge and enthusiasm will show through, causing your reader to over look any technical writing weaknesses you may have.

Be factual and clear and don't pad out the report just for fill. Try to outline the report before you start writing the main body. That way, you know exactly what you're going to write about before you get too deep into the subject and end up doing loads of re-writes.

Everything that's written should have a natural beginning, a body and an ending. When writing your report, make it sound as though you are talking to someone on a one-to-one basis. Keep it warm and friendly with a hint of humor, because when analysed, writing is no more than a written conversation.

Ok, now it's time to 'brain storm' - sounds painful doesn't it? Well it's not. Begin by writing down all the subjects you know something about, no matter how small. Start with any we've already mentioned above and include subjects like: horticultural, carpentry, glass cutting, painting, needle patch work, collecting memorabilia, golf, darts, pet training, astrology, astronomy, sleep walking, giving-up bad habits, smoking etc etc. Possible 'How-To' reports can be created from almost any subject.

Once you've made your list, go through the topic's one at a time and keep going through them until you find one subject that you're really comfortable with, even if it's not the one you originally knew most about. You see, that's the one you'll put your heart and soul into, and that's the one you'll be most passionate about.

Now you've decided on the subject, the next step is thorough research. The library, magazines, books, newspapers, search engines - anything that will give you information on your chosen subject. Gather this information based on your outlines we talked about earlier. However, don't get bogged down with a fixed set of outlines, they're just a guide to the way you want to list or discuss each aspect of your subject.

When you've finished with your first draft, be proud of yourself and take a break. Go back to it a few days later, rejuvenated. Scrutinize it with a sharp pencil. Polish each paragraph for clarity, accuracy and flow. Make sure it's easy to read, easy to understand and each sentence follows the one before it. The smoother the writing of the report, the easier it will be to read and the easier it will be to sell.

And finally, place your report in a .PDF file or a .EXE file for easy down-loading by your customers. Now go and make a cup of tea while nimbling-up your research cells and writing fingers.

Ed Bellamy is a webmaster and ezine publisher.For more tips and tricks visit dotBASiCWorld.comhttp://www.dotbasicworld.com Copyright (c) 2004.

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